PGCert in Higher Education

Programme distinctiveness

Feedback on the PGCert in Higher Education from its hundreds of graduates suggests that the programme is highly regarded as an opportunity for university staff to learn more about the professional context in which they work.

The programme is regularly commended by participants for its unique ability to bring together colleagues from across the campus, the opportunity for open and informed discussion, and the support readily available from an enthusiastic and expert programme team.

In previous years, the President of the University has attended programme events to meet participants and to respond to their questions.
The aim of the programme is not to tell you how to become better at your job, but to challenge and develop the ways in which you think about higher education to ensure that you undertake your role efficiently and successfully.

Programme aims

The aim of the PGCert is to introduce you to relevant literature and theory so that you can:

  • think critically about your contribution to the University;
  • develop a deeper understanding of the national and global Higher Education context;
  • progress in terms of your professional confidence, personal effectiveness and long-term career strategies.

Approaches to 'Teaching & Learning'

The programme is taught via a variety of methods, including face-to-face sessions and activities for you to engage with on Blackboard. You are expected to complete the programme within one academic year - the standard postgraduate time commitment is 150 hours per unit. However, the PGCert in Higher Education is designed to draw extensively on your day-to-day activity as a university employee, and assessment can link closely to your normal professional practice.

Please see the session timetable below.


The two principles behind the assessment are:

  • it relates closely to your usual professional practices;
  • you get to choose the topic and format that best suits your needs.

Traditional scholarly essays are acceptable, but blogs, video diaries and pedagogical reports are also encouraged.

The programme has one Welcome session per year in September that the whole cohort attends. Each unit has a further three sessions.

Collaboration is actively encouraged, so if there’s someone else on the PGCert in Higher Education you’d like to work with, a joint submission may be possible.


Please find the draft timetable for Semester 1 and 2 units. This may be subject to change.

The PGCert has given me a deeper understanding of higher education and I have been able to apply much of what I have learnt in my role.

It was clear that efforts had been made to select a cohort from a range of backgrounds and who are engaged in a wide diversity of roles.

The discussions were always lively - I certainly wouldn’t say that everyone always agreed with each other, but it was refreshing to hear different opinions and find out more about other people’s experiences.

The PGCert provided me with an excellent opportunity to engage with other people who are passionate about higher education.

Anna Goatman / Senior Lecturer in Marketing